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REGATTA: Ipso Facto to headline at festival for fourth time

Ipso Facto plays a recent gig at a The Narrows Saloon in Navarre

WORTHINGTON — When Ipso Facto returns to the Sailboard Stage for a fourth time as the Friday night headliner, its musicians know they will see lots of familiar faces in the audience.

The band is fronted by former Worthingtonian Wain McFarlane and includes the musical talents of several of his brothers, who also grew up and attended school here..

The McFarlane family moved to Worthington in the 1960s, among the first African-Americans who came here to work at the then-Armour pork processing plant. Wain graduated from Worthington HIgh School in the 1970s, moved to the Twin Cities and founded Ipso Facto, a reggae-funk band.

“I tell stories about this town,” Wain said in a 2012 interview. “This is where I am from. I think people think we’re from Jamaica or something. I tell them we’re Jamerican, but if they want the details, then I tell them the Worthington story.”

At one time, Ipso Facto toured the world with renowned acts such as UB40 and Tracy Chapman, but its members have since gone on to a variety of other endeavors, both in and out of the music industry.

But the McFarlanes reunite when their schedules allow to perform under the Ipso Facto name, delivering a unique combination of Caribbean and African-American rhythms.

When Ipso Facto has performed at the Unvarnished Music Festival in the past, Wain has rounded up not only his siblings but some other Worthington High School alumni to add to the band’s unique sound. Randy Evensen, a 1977 WHS graduate, is a regular performer with the group.

Additionally, there will likely be members of the McFarlane clan in the audience, as they consider a performance in Worthington an opportunity for a reunion with friends and family. Mother Maxine McFarlane — affectionately known as the Queen Mother — was coerced to perform onstage when Ipso Facto was last at the Unvarnished Music Festival in 2012. Maxine has done gospel recording in Kansas City, where she now lives.

Daily Globe Features Editor Beth Rickers

may be reached at 376-7327.

Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at  

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